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A beggar one moment in time!

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Then there was that moment when I used my last R5 to go looking for a job and I got one as an insurance agent, except I had no money to go back. It was 1998, 19 years of age. I was a beggar one moment in time!


I sat around Mark Park, a popular mall in Vereeniging in the Vaal excited and freaked about how I would get to work the next day.


I was looking at people, hungry, tired and needing to go home. I was caught between begging for money, asking for food and my small-town fear of big town people, insecurity and humiliation about being seen as a poor beggar. Many conflicting human emotions all at once as I imagined taking a bite, from some of the KFC bags people carried past me.


Eventually, I asked this old lady for money, she gave me R10-00 and said I must get something to eat. As I write this, I cannot help but feel my face get warm and tears fill my eyes.


Lesson: it is easier to judge people's struggles than to get the full story. Sound judgment requires a full story.


I still have occasional judgmental opinions about beggars, but I still end up giving because I have been one of them.


In that moment in time as a beggar, someone didn't judge me but they let their compassion lead their actions.


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